Homelessness Report Release | City of Ideas
Posted 02/23/2017 by Rebecca Koepnick, Senior Director, Neighborhoods and Housing
- Doubling in Family Homelessness, but recent dip: The number of families receiving Emergency Assistance has more than doubled in the past nine years, an increase that is among the highest in the nation.
- But the past two years show a dip in the number of families entering the system.
- Families are homeless longer: Families are staying in shelter almost 100 days longer now than they were three or four years ago.
- Large families, and families of color stay in shelter longer
- Families in shelter in Boston stay the longest of families across the state
- Recently-less than 1/5 of families are returning to EA system: Although the pattern is not clear, generally families are returning to shelter less frequently who entered the system more recently.
- On average across the time period examined, an average of 17% of families returned at least one time in a three year period. Families entering in FY2011 had the highest rate of return (20%) and families entering in both FY2012 and FY2013 had the lowest rates of return in a three year period (14% and 13%, respectively).
- Families are also significantly more likely to return to shelter if they were previously in a congregate shelter.
- Majority of families stay in shelter temporarily and do not return: 66% of families remained in shelter relatively briefly (6 months) and did not return.
- A very small number of families return to the shelter system multiple times and stay for long periods of time: Only 2% of families had multiple stays in shelter and stayed for over 2 years.
- Families that enter the shelter system generally receive more resources from other homeless assistance programs than those that are “diverted” from the shelter system.
- Though the data are tentative and based on only a few years, Seattle/King County homeless families are experiencing shorter stays in shelter, in part due to the system: 30% of its homeless assistance to rapidly rehousing families versus Boston (which dedicates 1%).
- In Massachusetts, assistance with rehousing (HomeBASE) is generally provided only following a long shelter stay.